Antigua touches both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, and both Antigua and Barbuda are situated in the midst of the Leeward Islands in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea. Guadaloupe is to the north and St Barts and St Martin are to the south. Antigua Island is the biggest of all English speaking islands in the region. It is roughly 14 miles long and 12 miles wide and encompasses 110 square miles total. The island of Redonda, and uninhabited atoll, is part of the nation of Antigua. St John's is Antigua's capital and a lively and colorful city full of things to do.
Many tourists choose a vacation to Antigua for several reasons, but the weather is number one. Winter months feature temperatures around the mid 70s and up to mid 80s during the summer season. A low annual rainfall makes it easy to visit Antigua tourist attractions without contending with rainy days. The relatively low humidity is another reason Antigua Island is such an attractive destination. Upon deciding when to go, weather has little to do with the decision and tourists can vacation when it's convenient for them, which is a big plus.
Antigua's main attributes are the beaches that make the island a prime spot for vacations. An incredible 365 beaches are scattered over the meandering coastline with most located within the protected reefs of the Caribbean Sea side. The main resort area is developed around Runaway Bay and Dickenson Bay, around the northwestern island area. This is where the majority of visitors take a vacation to Antigua. For the more isolated beaches, head toward the west and southwest region where less development offers welcome privacy and uncrowded shores.
With a strong resurgence of luxury hotels in Antigua, visitors can escape to lavish facilities where they can just relax, do nothing, and get the royal treatment. Others need to keep active and Antigua Island can serve this need as well with an extensive menu of activities, excursions, and attractions to fill up endless days. Sightseeing in Antigua is exciting and diverse. One of the top sightseeing tours is Fig Tree Drive, akin to 17 Mile Drive along California's beautiful central coast. Fig Tree Drive stretches twenty miles through lush countryside lined by coconut, mango, and banana trees, and dispersed with some charming fishing villages. Devil's Bridge, Nelson's Shipyard, and Shirley Heights are other popular stops. Cruises are another excellent way to see the island.
The incredible number of watersports available creates endless options for fun. Sea kayaking and canoeing, snorkeling and diving, golfing, hiking, and horseback riding are some of the top activities to try out Antigua island. A vacation to Antigua wouldn't be complete without shopping at the many unique boutiques and shops the island over. The best shopping area is in St John's where places like the waterfront at Redcliffe Quay and the shopping and entertainment complex Heritage Quay offer a dizzying array of goods.
History buffs on a vacation to Antigua should not miss the many historical landmarks and monuments found in several areas. From the island's discovery by Christopher Columbus to colonialism to independence from the British, there are many fascinating keys to Antigua's development over the years. Antigua's Carnival—the best of all island events—a host of casinos, and plenty of lavish spas offer even more reason to choose Antigua as your place to get away.